Nationalism in worship

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ValiantforTruth

Puritan Board Freshman
Our beloved church, where I have become a ruling elder in the last six months, has an (in my opinion) regrettable custom of mixing nationalism into the worship service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. (Patriotic readings; recognition of veterans; nationalistic music). I object to this rather strongly, and I will be bringing it up at our next session meeting. I would be grateful if anyone else can think of any cogent arguments against this practice in addition to those I list below:

1. I will appeal to the regulative principle and the idolatrous nature of it.
2. I will share that I have met people who visited our church on July 4 and didn't return because they came to worship Christ, not Christ and the American State.
3. I will share that my wife, who is Brazilian, when I asked her how it made her feel, said "That's just how Americans are."
4. I will share that I would not dream of inviting my unbelieving friends to church on a Lord's Day where I knew we would be mixing nationalism with the worship of God.

I hope I don't offend anyone here on PB. I especially have no quarrel with veterans; many in my family have served in the military, including my brother currently. I just don't believe that nationalism has any place in the church.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
Man, Brandon beat me to it. What more is there than point #1? If the session isn't interested in the RPW, then no other reasons will matter.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
I have two short suggestions:

1. Why not encourage something outside of worship, on a Saturday?
2. It is useful to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism.
 

William Price

Puritan Board Freshman
I do agree with the original poster. The assembly of the saints as the church should be to honor God solely and bring glory to His name alone. Nationalism has no place in our worship, whether Presbyterian or Reformed Baptist.
 

jambo

Puritan Board Senior
Politics and the church just do not mix. I think all 4 are valid however point 1 is the main point.

As an observer however I think it is a deeper rooted thing in the American mind. In recent years I have often heard the president say "God bless America". Whenever I hear it I think to myself "why?" Does not God bless his people (ie the church) and not a nation
 

raekwon

Puritan Board Junior
Agreed w/ the above posters. The church I grew up in often mixed nationalism (and/or patriotism) in with corporate worship in those days, and it sickened me even then.

Including thanksgiving for our nation in the pastoral prayer (but not making it the whole of the prayer) should suffice for these occasions.
 

ValiantforTruth

Puritan Board Freshman
I have two short suggestions:

1. Why not encourage something outside of worship, on a Saturday?
2. It is useful to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism.

Thanks, that is a good suggestion. I guess I do not understand a distinction between patriotism and nationalism. I think it's called patriotism if you like it and nationalism if you don't like it; or patriotism if it's Americans and nationalism if it's National Socialists.

Mirriam-Webster has the following:

Patriotism: 1 : love for or devotion to one's country

Nationalism: 1 : loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups

So there it seems like a quantitative rather than a qualitative distinction.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Maybe you need more services/sermons celebrating the fact that we are all part of the international nation known as the Church of the Living God, the Israel of God and that Jesus Christ is the King of Israel. (I Timothy 3:15; Galatians 6:16; Psalm 72)

These meek ones who acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, will not just inherit the Land of Israel or the USA but the whole Earth (Matthew 5)

Psalm 72 is one of the most nationalistic songs there is (Sing it to the tune 'Effingham'). But it is about the transnational Israel of God that is incorporating all nations, and their glorious King and Saviour, Jesus Christ. (See e.g. Daniel 2:44)
 

toddpedlar

Iron Dramatist
I have two short suggestions:

1. Why not encourage something outside of worship, on a Saturday?
2. It is useful to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism.

1. I'm not sure having a Memorial day ceremony sponsored by the church or organized within the church as a church activity is an appropriate activity. Encouraging people to take part in civil activities put on by the community, as part of their call to be good citizens, is what I'd do, at most.
2. The distinction you make doesn't bear on the original question. In either case, singing the National Anthem or My Country 'Tis of Thee is abhorrent to a sound understanding of worship. The motive (patriotism or nationalism) for singing those songs is totally irrelevant.
 

Tim

Puritan Board Graduate
Neither patriotism, nor nationalism belongs in the worship service. :2cents:

I have two short suggestions:

1. Why not encourage something outside of worship, on a Saturday?
2. It is useful to understand the difference between patriotism and nationalism.

[...]

2. The distinction you make doesn't bear on the original question. In either case, singing the National Anthem or My Country 'Tis of Thee is abhorrent to a sound understanding of worship. The motive (patriotism or nationalism) for singing those songs is totally irrelevant.

Oh dear, I never meant to suggest that one of those was okay in worship! Sorry about that poor communication. Certainly, neither conform to the RPW. That is unquestionable.

You are right that it doesn't bear on the original question. I just wanted to insert that in there as something interesting to consider. We can discuss in another thread.
 

au5t1n

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I think No. 1 should be sufficient.

Man, Brandon beat me to it. What more is there than point #1? If the session isn't interested in the RPW, then no other reasons will matter.

I agree that reason 1 is the main point, but giving other reasons is not a bad thing. Even God did it in the decalogue:

Ex. 20:2 I [am] the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Ex. 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Verse 2 should be sufficient reason to honor the 5th commandment, yet God provides an additional incentive in v. 12.
 

SemperEruditio

Puritan Board Junior
WOW! I cannot believe everyone seems to agree that the RPW has an idolatrous nature...... amazing....never thought I'd see this day come to the PB.....

:lol:
 

SolaScriptura

Puritanboard Brimstone
I am not a fan of patriotism in the church. Further, even outside of worship services, I'm not a fan of churches as organizations celebrating or honoring veterans. After all, since when does being a state hero make one a church hero?
 

Curt

Puritan Board Graduate
I am slowly weaning our congregation from such services, including Mothers/Fathers Day, Christmas, etc. We have come a long way since I started here 6 years ago. Always, however, there is more to teach, more to learn.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Our beloved church, where I have become a ruling elder in the last six months, has an (in my opinion) regrettable custom of mixing nationalism into the worship service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. (Patriotic readings; recognition of veterans; nationalistic music). I object to this rather strongly, and I will be bringing it up at our next session meeting. I would be grateful if anyone else can think of any cogent arguments against this practice in addition to those I list below:

1. I will appeal to the regulative principle and the idolatrous nature of it.
2. I will share that I have met people who visited our church on July 4 and didn't return because they came to worship Christ, not Christ and the American State.
3. I will share that my wife, who is Brazilian, when I asked her how it made her feel, said "That's just how Americans are."
4. I will share that I would not dream of inviting my unbelieving friends to church on a Lord's Day where I knew we would be mixing nationalism with the worship of God.

I hope I don't offend anyone here on PB. I especially have no quarrel with veterans; many in my family have served in the military, including my brother currently. I just don't believe that nationalism has any place in the church.

I think you have hit the two major reasons to reject the syncretism of nationalism and Christian worship.
1) It clearly violates the regulative principle
2) It violates the international nature of the Church.

Could we honestly ask Palestinian or Russion or Iranian Christians to honor America in the public worship of God? Would we prop up American flags and ceremonies if we worshipped in a foreign mission context? If you want to honor the country, do it through avenues the community already provides. Go to parades, thank your veterans, support monuments etc. but do not pollute the worship of God.
 
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Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
:popcorn: I'm waiting to see if anyone here is going to defend this church...

I'm not going to defend the church in question, but I do think it's appropriate to recognize some patriotic holidays to a certain degree. Like a prayer of thanksgiving for our country and those who have served to protect it, as well as a prayer for those currently serving in the military or in public office.
 

Andres

Puritan Board Doctor
:popcorn: I'm waiting to see if anyone here is going to defend this church...

I'm not going to defend the church in question, but I do think it's appropriate to recognize some patriotic holidays to a certain degree. Like a prayer of thanksgiving for our country and those who have served to protect it, as well as a prayer for those currently serving in the military or in public office.

Praying for our country and it's leaders is not a problem. In fact, I think it should be done if it's not already. The problem is with the things the TS mentioned in the original post.
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
Let me be contrary here. If the question is how best to persuade the church leadership to worship God alone on these days, I think bringing up the regulative priciple is NOT likely to be an effective tactic. If your church has been doing these things, it's safe to say the RPW is not on their minds, and you're likely to be met with blank stares or dismissed as a bit extreme. You may be right, but persuading others will require a different approach.

I had this very discussion in my church last July 4. The question I ended up asking was: "Do we gather to worship God or to worship the USA? Does anyone disagree that God has clearly said to worship him and him only?"

Rather than trying to explain RPW, I made it very simple: "Worship God and him only." We all agree that's right. Now make sure every element of worship even on these "patriotic" days conforms to this command.

Those are very simple terms, but they'd never thought about the July 4 service that way. They were just following tradition, which called for a patriotic service that Sunday. Progress is sometimes slow when it comes to bucking tradition, but it seemed to help significantly in my church. So I'd suggest you start with something simple like that, rather than try to change their entire way of thinking about worship in one fell swoop.
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
Politics and the church just do not mix. I think all 4 are valid however point 1 is the main point.

As an observer however I think it is a deeper rooted thing in the American mind. In recent years I have often heard the president say "God bless America". Whenever I hear it I think to myself "why?" Does not God bless his people (ie the church) and not a nation

Kind of like, "God save the Queen?"

To his people being carried away as slaves to Babylon, God said,

Jeremiah 29:7 (King James Version)

7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

Applying this to ourselves, Christians in America ought to pray, "God bless America" often with genuine sincerity.

---------- Post added at 07:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:36 PM ----------

I am not a fan of patriotism in the church. Further, even outside of worship services, I'm not a fan of churches as organizations celebrating or honoring veterans. After all, since when does being a state hero make one a church hero?

I agree, although we do use a patriotic holiday as an occasion to evangelize the community. We do an outdoor preaching service on our church lawn on every 4th of July as people are lining up on the edge of the street to watch the parade. The sermon generally has a theme which relates and applies to American history in some way.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
I believe there is a place for thanksgiving for past deliverances and wins in war. Also to medidate on what God is saying to us as a nation (e.g. USA or Britain) in these troubles.

It can end up thanking ourselves or our veterans in a way which forgets the Lord's help in past and present conflicts.
 

jambo

Puritan Board Senior
Politics and the church just do not mix. I think all 4 are valid however point 1 is the main point.

As an observer however I think it is a deeper rooted thing in the American mind. In recent years I have often heard the president say "God bless America". Whenever I hear it I think to myself "why?" Does not God bless his people (ie the church) and not a nation

Kind of like, "God save the Queen?"

To his people being carried away as slaves to Babylon, God said,

Jeremiah 29:7 (King James Version)

7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

Applying this to ourselves, Christians in America ought to pray, "God bless America" often with genuine sincerity.

The national anthem was hurriedly written as the Scots under the Bonnie Prince had advanced as far south as Derby where they had conquered all in their wake. They were en route to London and the English composed the anthem which included a verse about crushing rebellious Scots. Nowadays only the first verse is sung and on very odd occasions the second.

Whilst in its original context it was a plea to God for national deliverance and to save the King from his Jacobite enemies (who had legitimate claims to the throne) Today it is currently in use as the national anthem. One is exhorted in scripture to pray for rulers and authorities (and in the NT times that would have included the Roman Emperor) and one should do so. However why should God bless one country over another when its people and government are godless and pass laws which increasingly eat away at Christian values.

I would ask God to bless a country by pouring out his Spirit upon that country, to pray for revival within it, to pray for the blessing on the proclamation of the word throughout the country, that its rulers might become converted, that the church would increase as the church grows and prospers then society changes.

As we think back to the 18th century revivals, certainly in this country through the preaching of Whitefield, Wesley and many others society changed and laws passed then which reflected a Christian ethos are only now being repealed or "modernised"

I think a difficulty arises where OT verse which relate to a nation (ie Israel or Judah) and apply them to nations today. The Lord's people in the OT was a nation but we see the lord's people today as the church.
 

ValiantforTruth

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks!

Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful responses to my post. They helped me to better organize and formulate what I wanted to say. It went over like a lead zeppelin. Truly nationalism and the Christian faith are two rival religions.
 

Willem van Oranje

Puritan Board Junior
Politics and the church just do not mix. I think all 4 are valid however point 1 is the main point.

As an observer however I think it is a deeper rooted thing in the American mind. In recent years I have often heard the president say "God bless America". Whenever I hear it I think to myself "why?" Does not God bless his people (ie the church) and not a nation

Kind of like, "God save the Queen?"

To his people being carried away as slaves to Babylon, God said,

Jeremiah 29:7 (King James Version)

7And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

Applying this to ourselves, Christians in America ought to pray, "God bless America" often with genuine sincerity.

The national anthem was hurriedly written as the Scots under the Bonnie Prince had advanced as far south as Derby where they had conquered all in their wake. They were en route to London and the English composed the anthem which included a verse about crushing rebellious Scots. Nowadays only the first verse is sung and on very odd occasions the second.

Whilst in its original context it was a plea to God for national deliverance and to save the King from his Jacobite enemies (who had legitimate claims to the throne) Today it is currently in use as the national anthem. One is exhorted in scripture to pray for rulers and authorities (and in the NT times that would have included the Roman Emperor) and one should do so. However why should God bless one country over another when its people and government are godless and pass laws which increasingly eat away at Christian values.

I would ask God to bless a country by pouring out his Spirit upon that country, to pray for revival within it, to pray for the blessing on the proclamation of the word throughout the country, that its rulers might become converted, that the church would increase as the church grows and prospers then society changes.

As we think back to the 18th century revivals, certainly in this country through the preaching of Whitefield, Wesley and many others society changed and laws passed then which reflected a Christian ethos are only now being repealed or "modernised"

I think a difficulty arises where OT verse which relate to a nation (ie Israel or Judah) and apply them to nations today. The Lord's people in the OT was a nation but we see the lord's people today as the church.

Yet certainly, God has his people within America. If the Jews being taken captive to babylon, were supposed to pray for Babylon, I infer a lesson from that that Christians in America are supposed to pray for the peace of America, that God would bless her. Yes, through all those things you mentioned, and also through the blessings of peace and prosperity, which we certainly do not deserve as a nation.

You asked, "However why should God bless one country over another when its people and government are godless and pass laws which increasingly eat away at Christian values."

I know why God should bless one country. Because of the prayers of his people, that's why! May He continue to bless, according to his will. God bless America.
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
... certainly, God has his people within America. If the Jews being taken captive to babylon, were supposed to pray for Babylon, I infer a lesson from that that Christians in America are supposed to pray for the peace of America, that God would bless her. Yes, through all those things you mentioned, and also through the blessings of peace and prosperity, which we certainly do not deserve as a nation.

You asked, "However why should God bless one country over another when its people and government are godless and pass laws which increasingly eat away at Christian values."

I know why God should bless one country. Because of the prayers of his people, that's why! May He continue to bless, according to his will. God bless America.
I'm out of thanks, so I have to do it the long way.
I think it's important to distinguish both theoretically and practically between patriotism in a bad sense and simply praying for your country, -even if it is in a service of worship. When I pray for Scotland, which I do constantly, I'm definitely not idolising it....I just ask for God's mercy and forgiveness and that he will turn back the nation that once loved his Word of truth.
I wondered if anyone thought the Church of England's old practice was wrong, of bringing the Monarch and the royal family before God in public prayer?
They were commended to God morning and evening always, until the Book of Common Prayer began to be disused in the 60's and 70's. -and many people in England at least have remarked that soon after, all their marital troubles and other problems set in

---------- Post added at 01:43 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:40 PM ----------

....I pray for America too - whatever your president seems to feel about it, I believe we belong together!
 

ValiantforTruth

Puritan Board Freshman
Prayer for leaders

I agree 100% that we ought to publicly pray for our leaders and our country in the worship service. I highly doubt that anyone would dispute that.
 

JennyG

Puritan Board Graduate
I agree 100% that we ought to publicly pray for our leaders and our country in the worship service. I highly doubt that anyone would dispute that.
still out of thanks... but thanks
I wonder, ought I to be wary about the kind of Remembrance services we have here on the nearest Sunday to November 11th, Armistice day? Truly, when I think about it, I don't believe the English are in much danger of worshipping their country - rather the opposite. The religion of PC has taken away even a proper and godly love for it. The Scots might, but their love often takes the form of passionate anti-Englishness.
 

ValiantforTruth

Puritan Board Freshman
Rememberance

I guess on the basis of the regulative principle, I do not see any warrant for commemorating wars in the worship of Christ's church. Perhaps it is no problem in other contexts, but no where in Scripture are we commanded to do anything other than pray for our country.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Our beloved church, where I have become a ruling elder in the last six months, has an (in my opinion) regrettable custom of mixing nationalism into the worship service on Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day. (Patriotic readings; recognition of veterans; nationalistic music). I object to this rather strongly, and I will be bringing it up at our next session meeting. I would be grateful if anyone else can think of any cogent arguments against this practice in addition to those I list below:

1. I will appeal to the regulative principle and the idolatrous nature of it.
2. I will share that I have met people who visited our church on July 4 and didn't return because they came to worship Christ, not Christ and the American State.
3. I will share that my wife, who is Brazilian, when I asked her how it made her feel, said "That's just how Americans are."
4. I will share that I would not dream of inviting my unbelieving friends to church on a Lord's Day where I knew we would be mixing nationalism with the worship of God.

I hope I don't offend anyone here on PB. I especially have no quarrel with veterans; many in my family have served in the military, including my brother currently. I just don't believe that nationalism has any place in the church.

Once again, the Westminster Standards provide a concise summary of the doctrine of Scripture regarding what biblical worship is.

I've come to understand this much better, thanks to the Puritan Board.

Chapter XXI
Of Religious Worship, and the Sabbath Day

....

V. The reading of the Scriptures with godly fear,[17] the sound preaching[18] and conscionable hearing of the Word, in obedience unto God, with understanding, faith and reverence,[19] singing of psalms with grace in the heart;[20] as also, the due administration and worthy receiving of the sacraments instituted by Christ, are all parts of the ordinary religious worship of God:[21] beside religious oaths,[22] vows,[23] solemn fastings,[24] and thanksgivings upon special occasions,[25] which are, in their several times and seasons, to be used in an holy and religious manner.[26]
....

We simply are not free to "make up" what we would, and leaders are particularly charged with making sure God is worshiped in ways He has prescribed.

As I read the summary and your comments, though I might find a little "wiggle room." Maybe we are not exactly imaging the same things, or maybe I am wrong even in this, but here are a few thoughts, carefully with what you list. I fully admit to loving my country and aspiring to be a patriot. But not equal to, above, or in any way in place of our Triune God or His Word.

Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day would not ordinarily be on a Lord's Day- the first is a Monday holiday bill, and the other two would mostly fall on another day of the week.

Patriotic Readings-
I think of President Washington's Prayer at Valley Forge.

Or Abraham Lincoln's in proclaiming a National Day of Thanksgiving (to God).

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

or declaring a National Day of Prayer

President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation:

A Day Of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer
in the The United States Of America on April 30, 1863


WHEREAS, the senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and Just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has by a resolution, required the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation:

And whereas, it is the duty of nations as as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord:

And, in so much as we know that, by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.


Now, therefore, in compliance with the request , and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting, and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain on that day from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.

All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.

In witness whereof, I have here unto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-seventy.

By the President:
ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Recognition of Veterans-
Could we ask Veterans to stand for a time for the covenant community to pray for them?

Or during the community prayer time lead by the Pastor to pray for them generally, or specifically?

Nationalistic Music-
I'm thinking of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
What a biblical theme there, though it is the theme song for our Marines.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch fires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery Gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
“As ye deal with My contemners, so with you My grace shall deal”;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with His heel,
Since God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat;
Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet;
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free;
[originally …let us die to make men free]
While God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! While God is marching on.

He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave,
He is wisdom to the mighty, He is honor to the brave;
So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of wrong His slave,
Our God is marching on.
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah! Our God is marching on.

And on days other than the sabbath, I especially find useful this kind of prayer for, and thanksgiving for these kinds of things...
including the Veterans who have and will give their lives to give us freedom to debate unhindered things like the regulative principle.
:):graduate::pilgrim:
 
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